Friday, September 4, 2009

What About Walter?

What About Walter?

Hi, My name is Joy and I am an addict. Certainly not as sexy as a heroin addict with tracks or a coke addict with a collapsed nose, nor, even an alcoholic with blackouts. I am addicted to food. I am fat. Oh, you noticed?

I am so well adjusted to my fat, that I have named it Walter and Walter is my boyfriend. Yes, I named my fat .... Walter.

I would rather spend time making Walter happy than almost anything. We plan breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks together. None of that fast food stuff. Not good enough for Walter. Walter is what I like to refer to as "healthy fat" or "rich woman's fat". There isn't a five star restaurant in this town that Walter hasn’t attended, enjoyed or who’s food is now attached to his "girth". Great word, Girth. The sound makes me hungry.

Walter and I have been lovers for many years now. We have broken up often and I have seriously attempted to stay away, but somehow I always go back. I go back and embrace Walter because I am .... Yes indeed, a Walter addict. Food, all except cottage cheese, is my drug of choice and boy do I embrace it, own it, dream about it, love it,
It's a curse. I want to be free, but I love food and I love to eat. Throw it up? Spit it out? Walk past it? Not a chance. It calls me. Mallowmars beckon me in the middle of the night. At lunch I plan dinner. In my dreams I plan catered events. In the morning I wake up and eat before opening my eyes and Walter loves it and hangs on tightly to me.

I was born a middle class Jewish girl who early on was addicted to Gerbers and anything else my overly concerned for health mother could shove down my throat. All of us 1950s kids were chubby. And if you were oddly skinny you were being overfed with c hocolate malts and milk shakes to gain weight.

To this day I am drawn to walk down the baby food isle I still look for Gerber strained prunes. You laugh …. Try it.

It was evident early on that I really liked to eat and was blessed with a metabolism and an active life, that I was never fat or even much overweight but food became a means by which I could feel full and full was happy. I always considered the "poor children in Europe who were starving" and cleaned my plate with a sense of purpose. Wonder why they never said starving American children?!

Food was never difficult to acquire. My father was a produce merchant with several green grocery stores in what is n ow called Koreatown. A sudden craving was met by a single phone call ..... He would bring it home. How convenient.

My mother was an excellent cook and even a better baker. We never had store bought cookies or cakes, although I did wait every day for the Helms Truck to deliver right out side the front door with assorted delights. The truck arrived between 3 and 5 and my father arrived at 6, so every need was easily met.

By High School, my love of food was so great that when we (my best friend Elaine and I) had multiple invitations to sweet sixteen parties on the same day, we would call the hotel or restaurant and find out what was being served, to better decide which party to attend. Sometimes I am drawn to that behavior today.

What do you think we were doing in the drive-in restaurants? EATING.

Peer pressure and bi-phetamine 20s or Black Beauties kept us thin and .... stoned. Who knew?

And then the 1960s. To add to the addiction came marijuana and the munchies. New and unique ways were learned on how to ingest large amounts of sweet, salty, crunchy goods. A heaping tablespoon of chunky peanut butter drowned in the jam jar (not jelly), of choice and then stuck down deep in a box of rice crispes remains a favorite. Think about it.

And now middle age has reared her ugly head and there is no way to loose weight "naturally". Black beaut ies have been replaced by the gym and workout studios, but who really wants to do that? The days of eating anything i want is way over and i am fat.

Have you ever had lunch at Costco? What a treat. Saturday and Sunday are the best days to go. At every corner of the warehouse there is a "sample table" with a treat or goodie. You can go back as many times as you want. Who needs to buy stuff? It's the best free meal in town. And on top of it all, on your way out the door, you can stop and get an all beef kosher hot dog and a diet coke for $1.50. What a deal! Walter loves going to Costco, he tingles.

Chocolate --- who was it that thought that up? Some tribe in South America got high on peyote and found cacao beans and then ... I got fat.

I have decided to quit many time ….. Not cold turkey, of course, but how about, shots, pills, a trainer, in home exercise equipment, even Richard Simmons. And then there is By-pass, lap band. Those are the only two things that I and Walter are just not fat enough to have. Can you believe it?

Imagine the wealth and fame that the scientist who discovers a pill where we could eat everything we want to and not gain weight would have? He could easily start a new religion. I would attend. I would have sex with him. I would fix him up with all my single friends.

Why are Mrs. Fields, Mrs. Beasley and Sarah Lee thin? What's that about? Maybe if I discover some gooey, fattening, confection, manufacture it and sell it, I would lose weight. Does that make sense?

Do you ever wonder why skinny girls don't smile? They are starving to death. Every beautiful shiksa goddess I have ever known ...... doesn't eat. That's right. In the "old days" they just drank coffee and smoked cigarettes. Now they just drink coffee and take vitamins. I drink coffee, I take vitamins…. and I eat.

Anyway, back to my breaking up with Walter. So, the first thing is to cut off Walter's energy. I do this by not eating anything WHITE. No flour (wheat as well) No Sugar, No Potatoes, Rice ...... Walter's energy dissipates and mine increases. He seems depressed and keeps me up at night. Walter is hungry, especially in the morning.

It's been six weeks. So far so good. Walter keeps "calling". He is every food Ad on TV,=2 0and he is on Billboards and in every magazine. He is every dinner invitation and out of town guest. He attends every charity dinner and oversleeps on Marathon day. He is in my dreams and in the dreamy state you get into while driving. The cravings are gone but the reverie and desire remain.

It really is the nostalgia of binges past that drives me crazy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Who's Got Your Back Baby .....

My one recurring nightmare is finding myself in front of a group with everyone i know. We are faced with the enemy, surrounded and confined and trapped. I stand up and say "Let's go, enough is enough." Everyone responds with cheers and encouragement. I stand up and begin running forward towards the enemy when I stop and look for everyone behind me and ..... no one is there.

Pretty dramatic, huh? But in reality it is my exaggerated version of "standing up" and finding that I am alone. I believe that throughout my life I really didn't stand up enough. Stand up for friends that is. I seem to have no trouble standing up for immediate family and loved ones. My "friends" on the other hand didn't do much to stand up for me. Friends are like that, they are. I wonder if they ponder this point at all.

I was reminded yesterday of a trip to Ireland where, at a dinner party given by my dead favorite Cousin's widow, my new friend, at the time, Jimmy Doyle stood up for me. Right there and then he took on his own "tribe" and fought in my defense. He remains my hero and someone I will never forget. And we aren't that close anymore. But he stood up and "had my back, an enormous and scary undertaking. Being verbally attacked is an act of violence. Standing up is an act of courage.

Recently it has come up. I was insulted and put down. My friend said if given a chance she would stand up for me but didn't. And now she and my "attacker" are friends. It boggles the mind.

Who cares why. The reasons don't matter. It is the result of knowing that in a pinch I cannot count on someone I care about and knowing that removes me from being there for her. Another moment of self protection rears it's head.

It happens all the time. I own that my level of friendship is rather black and white but too many have been harmed and murdered because no one had their back. That's a reality. It is happening now. Check out Darfur and the Sudan. Big, yes, but it comes from the same source. If you believe that people should "mind their own business" and certainly not go out of their way to make a fuss then the door is left ajar for bullying, harassment and genocide. It has to start somewhere. A learned behavior.

I am frustrated and I am hurt and my only two ways of fighting back are to write about it here and offer like behavior in return.

So now when I hear that expression "I have your back" I stop and wonder if it is really true. In my case of late I have seen it only once. I hope not to have to need it again but it sure would be nice if my friends really had my back.

In the meantime I believe I have to do it myself.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

bul-ly - a noun and a verb

Why is it that all of us have at one time chosen this behavior. Children do it often. Where do they learn it? I did it as a child and yet did not learn it in my home. Is it a learned behavior or is it inherent within?

I find it curious that whenever there are three kids playing, two unite and snicker and jeer at the third. We all have been on either side of this coin. I am just curious as to why we choose to behave this way.

I have pondered this recently and have come up with a couple of theories. It occurs to me, through only my experience, that this behavior becomes manifest when people feel threatened and therefore frightened. It starts with one and then usually the one entices the other or others to join. Why are the by standers so easily enticed. Why does this make them feel good? Maybe it just kills fear.

From my experience I have been on both sides. Fortunately, when I graduated High School I made a commitment to hold in my consciousness this "tendency" and attempt not to manifest it. Being a bully or engaging in bully behavior did no longer dispel my fear or feelings of inadequacy and therefore no pay off. The more I and the people in my environment became self aware the less tendency to bully thus more tendency to respect.

Having my own children and watching one be bullied I became aware of the universiality of the practice. I even went so far as to make amends to as many children (now adults) that I behaved badly towards. It hurt me more to see my child bullied than it ever did me. Having my child bullied was the easiest and most permanent way to curb the tendency and eventually omit the behavior all together.

Maybe that is why when I observe the behavior either being the brunt of it or as a non participant observer it still pushes my cellular memory buttons.

I again apologize, to those offended, for that behavior in my past. It saddens me that I still have to be reminded of its existence. Maybe there should be a foundation for the eradication of bully behavior.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Three Dames With A Clue

As my first initial blog I would like to take the opportunity to invite all women to check out " Three Dames With A Clue. This is a new creative endeavor that I am initiating with two partners, Katie Schwartz and Belle Zwerdling.

We have create a space where all women can stand and be counted with discussions that unite us all on journey of self.

It is our intention that this platform be made available to women on a global basis either through real time web viewing and in person participation.

We are open to all discussion topic suggestions and intend to fill the need for communication and comraderie between all women participants.

Please visit our website @ and participate with us.

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